A broad coalition is sponsoring a Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases, to be held in Baltimore, MD, beginning Friday, January 12, 2018, and ending Sunday, January 14. It will be held at the University of Baltimore’s Learning Commons, 1415 Maryland Avenue. The Labor Fightback Network is proud to endorse this conference and the Unity Statement of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases. This event will be an important step forward for the entire working class and for all who are concerned about the threat of once-unthinkable nuclear war and the continuing war in Afghanistan.
The conference is expected to propose a day of action on January 23 commemorating the 1898 occupation of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba by U.S. forces during the Spanish-American War. That occupation continues today. Guantánamo is the site of a U.S. naval base and of the infamous prison where captives from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are held without trial or charges. Those prisoners, many of whom are guilty of no more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are subject to abuse and torture. We will demand that the prison be closed, that the U.S. naval base also be closed, and that Guantánamo be returned to the Cuban people. As the Resistance to Donald John Trump and his oppressive administration continues in the new year, the demonstrations against the occupation of Guantánamo will send a message to Trump and to everyone that stopping and preventing war is a high priority on the Resistance’s agenda.
The conference will also discuss ambitious plans for a national spring mobilization for peace. Those plans are at the very preliminary stage at the present time: a call is being drafted, and a number of dates and locations are being considered. However, there is consensus on the need for united mass action in the streets to show the Trump administration and the entire world that the people of the United States demand peace. We are tired of our sons and daughters being killed and maimed; we are infuriated at the death and destruction being visited upon the populations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria by either U.S. forces themselves or their Middle Eastern proxies, and we are terrified at the prospect that this President may very well unleash nuclear destruction against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
At its October 2017 convention in St. Louis, the AFL-CIO adopted a resolution called “War Is Not the Answer.” It states clearly and conclusively that the “AFL-CIO promotes and advocates for a foreign policy based on international solidarity of all workers, mutual respect of all nations and national sovereignty, and calls upon the president and Congress to make war truly the last resort in our country’s foreign relations, and that we seek peace and reconciliation wherever possible…” It adds the voice of the most powerful social force in the population to the demand for peace. A spring mass action for peace has the potential to bring that most powerful social force into the streets, so that the warmakers can consider the possibility that the labor movement could take even more decisive action in the future, action which could directly threaten their profits and their power. It also raises the possibility that the young working people who fill the ranks of the armed forces will come to the realization that the geopolitical machinations of the bankers and businessmen are not worth their lives.
The Labor Fightback Network calls on all its supporters: if you can attend the Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases, please do so. The time to register is now—and space is limited. Add your voice to the call for united mass action against current and future wars, to the call to close U.S. foreign military bases, to dismantle the U.S. military arsenal, and to use the money now spent on weapons and war for job creation and human needs. When the power of the organized working class is brought to bear for peace, victory is certain. The time to get started is now.